Justin and I went to the San Francisco Zoo today. We traveled from the East Bay on Bart, then took the Muni straight to the zoo. It is right on the coast and was a quite a chilly day. We ended up getting yearly passes to the zoo so that we could all come back and visit. The zoo itself is a beautiful place and it was not crowded. We saw flamingos, peacocks, an eagle, a brown bear, polar bears, kangaroos, penguins and giraffes. I took lots of pictures of the animals, some at the beach nearby and even got one of a rainbow! It was a good photo day. Afterward we headed back to Market St. and went to the Camper shoe store where I bought myself a Christmas present (from my Mom and Dad).
Jason and I went on a bike ride along the San Francisco Bay Trail. The weather here so far has been warm one day and cool the next. Very unpredictable but as long as its not raining I can ride my bike. I plan on riding my bicycle daily when school is out (crossing my fingers that it doesn’t rain the whole time).
finals! I am in the process of completing three books, three chinese boxes, a chopsticks holder, a gift bag, and studying for two tests. I did not travel during the Thanksgiving break so I actually got a lot of work done and am feeling on top of everything. I always experience mixed feelings as semesters end. I want to have a break but at the same time know that in a week I will want to be back in school. I will really post everything when I am done. I know that I keep saying that but this time I mean it. *_*
my Amazon wish list! Just for fun. I am not expecting any gifts this Christmas because I am staying home. I am totally okay with that because I don’t need anything—but I can always buy myself a new art book.
vacation! After the first of the year maiki and I are planning to visit Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, and Oceanside. I am really looking forward to the trip, and am especially relieved to not be traveling during the holidays. There are so many fun things that I want to do.
Everyday I have a list of what absolutely needs to get done to get through this semester (and hopefully pass). The great thing is that I am learning new things everyday and am enjoying myself even if it may not always seem like it. I am very fortunate that maiki is so supportive and making time to work around my hectic schedule because he is the comic relief that is so very important in my life! Ah, he is a best friend that I cannot imagine living without! _ Cloud Ninth is also continuously supportive and I know that I could not do this without them. My life is so very fun and filled with friends that really inspire me.
Luckily I have had some cool adventures squeezed into my down time. Justin and I made a trip to the Samovar Tea Lounge and it was so wonderful. I got their signature smokey black russian tea and it was strong but I enjoyed the flavor. We sat in the sun overlooking Yerba Buena gardens and spent a couple hours out of our busy school day just relaxing and sipping tea. I also have gone to the movies a few times and saw Bottle Shock, Burn After Reading, and Religulous at the California Theatre here in Berkeley. It is an old independent theatre like the ones I loved in Santa Cruz. Last Saturday maiki and I walked to a Utrecht that I had never been to in the city on Van Ness and then wandered to Japantown. I picked up an art book from Makoto Shinkai. I am always so inspired when ever I go to Kinokuniya. I always want to either move in or bring all the books home with me. It is hard to not purchase art books and I have such an amazing library now full of design and art books of all kind.
My parents came up to Berkeley to spend my birthday with me and were here Wednesday and Thursday. It was really fun to show them around my neighborhood but I am not used to navigating Berkeley as a driver and giving directions. Also I drove my dad’s car which felt so different since I am used to being on foot or bicycle. My mom and I shopped around on Wednesday and I took her to 4th street and showed her my Pasta Shop where we ate alfajores cookies. They are definitely the best thing that we sell! My dad went to Golden Gate Fields, racetrack that is right on the bay, where you can see the Golden Gate bridge from when it is not foggy. For dinner that night we went to Temari with maiki and they ate Japanese food for the first time. They seemed to really enjoy the food and hopefully they will find a place in L.A. to eat at when they return.
The next day was my birthday and I woke up super early with excitement. We went to Ihop for breakfast because I love their butter pecan syrup. Then my mom and I took the Bart from Berkeley to the Montgomery station in S.F. I wanted to show her my school buildings and the area around there that I frequent. We went to Anthropologie on Market and I got some flower rings and glass bear shakers. We had lunch at ‘wichcraft and shared a piece of Schoggi hazelnut chocolate and an vanilla eclair from Beard Papa’s. It was the best b-day dessert ever. We went to the MOMA store and both immediately regretted not having time to go to the museum as well. It was a lot of walking and more standing around would have been too much for my mommy to handle. We had lots of fun though! It was funny to me how since my mom is left handed that she held on (with a death grip) to the left side of the railing on the escalators and stairs. People are used to passing on the left and she was definitely throwing a wrench into that system. We do live in right handed society. _
When we got back to Berkeley we had dinner at a Chinese place on Shattuck called King Dong. It is a favorite for their hot & sour soup and mu shu vegetables. Afterwards we said good bye to my parents and walked back to Cloud Ninth where we drank Pyramid Hefeweizen and watched a week of the Daily Show. It had been a wonderful two days off work and I was happy to be with my mom in person rather than being on the phone with her doing those things like I normally would. We really are pretty close now and I call her almosr everyday to say hi and check on her. Now she has seen the area places that I’m always talking about. _
I have had kind of a tough time lately. I lost my bike and had to quit my job due to health problems but I realize that I have so much to be thankful for that there is no reason to dwell on that. The last few days have been fun and friends nearby and online have reached out to cheer me up and wish me well. I am happy because I feel loved and hopeful for the future.
Yesterday Neko and Jason and I went to the laundromat together and played Mario Party on the DS. It must have been cute because we were all squished together on one bench giggling and cheering at our hand held gaming toys. Afterwards we adventured through Berkeley by car and saw some really neat areas. We stopped for lunch at a taqueria in the Epicurious Garden and ate outside in the sun. Next I took them to the Rose Garden and Codornices park. It is located on the hill and the view from up there is great for looking out over the Bay. We took so many photos and walked around the area. Later I spent lots of quality time with maiki and he shared Beard Papa eclairs that he had brought from the city. They are so delicious!
Today has already been wonderful for me. I slept great. Woke up and went for a walk down to 4th street. I bought some compfy green pajama pants on sale from Anthropologie (so I can stop borrowing from my roommate!) and found an amazing collection of design books at the Builders Booksource. I didn’t buy any books today but sat down in a chair to study a stack of them. They were all so inspiring, especially the Japaneses produced ones about icons and signage. They are beautiful to me! I picked up some fresh vegetables from the Pasta Shop and came back to C9th to make lunch for maiki and I. We had tofutti covered everything bagels with lox, tomatoes and red onion. Now I am enjoying a nice cup of earl gray lavender tea. Lunch was better than anything I could get in a restaurant—seriously I never know why I waste my money eating out with such a restricted diet. I have some paperwork to deal with today but I know that I can relax because I have done lots of cleaning and organizing as of late and can now enjoy the fruits of my labor. Yahoo!